The Top 20 Of The Best And Most Beautiful Cities Worth Visiting In Africa : Going on a safari is often associated with traveling to Africa. And it’s not surprising given that this vast continent is home to the most impressive megafauna in the entire world. But there are also some fascinating urban locations in Africa that are worth visiting is your looking for something unique apart from wildlife safari in the bush. Some, like Cairo, Marrakech, and Cape Town, are well-known and well-liked by tourists, while others are farther away or less well-known.
In this article, we’ve taken on the difficult task of choosing top 20 of the Africa’s best and most picturesque cities and towns worth visiting in Africa. Others are notable for their picturesque surroundings, while others are still notable for their modern urban lives. Some are notable for their historic architecture. Few provide all three. But in each case, it is undeniably worthwhile to visit these cities.
HERE ARE THE TOP 20 BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES WORTH VISITING IN AFRICA
- Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town is frequently referred to as the most beautiful city in Africa, if not the entire world. It is nestled between Table Mountain and the glistening Atlantic waters of Table Bay. Aside from its picturesque setting, it is also home to a fantastic array of historical sites and museums that reflect its position as the oldest city in South Africa, having been established in 1652. Partygoers will enjoy Cape Town’s vibrant nightlife, foodies will adore the seafood and wine, and outdoor enthusiasts will be drawn to Table Mountain and the breathtaking Cape Peninsula.
- Zanzibar, Stone Town, Tanzania
Stone Town, the historic center of Zanzibar City, is a neighborhood of winding streets and 19th-century structures nestled within the sprawling modernity of Tanzania’s fabled “spice island. It’s a great location to experience Swahili culture in an urban setting, shop for environmentally friendly goods made in Zanzibar, and take in sundowners and international cuisine on the romantic Indian Ocean waterfront.
- Cairo, Egypt
The Egyptian capital has few rivals in Africa if chaotic traffic, never-ending honking horns, and people everywhere are measures of what makes a city great. Cairo is a busy city, but it’s also incredibly exciting, whether you wander through the old Coptic neighborhood, eat Mediterranean food by the Nile, explore the Egyptian Museum, or marvel at the enormous sphinx and pyramids of Giza.
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The mountain-ringed capital Addis Ababa, founded in the 1880s by Emperor Menelik II, offers a vibrant introduction to Africa’s most unique country despite being relatively modern by Ethiopian standards. Visit elegant churches connected to the legendary Emperor Haile Selassie, indulge in the fiery cuisine and distinctive musical legacy of Ethiopia, and get a taste of the nation’s rich history at the National Museum of Ethiopia.
- Djenné, Mali
Africa’s most architecturally cohesive town, which has served as a significant trading hub since the 15th century, is located on a seasonal island in the Bani River, a section of the Niger River Delta. The Great Mosque of Djenné, the largest and arguably most beautiful adobe structure in the world, serves as a rich repository of Sahelian mud-and-stick architecture.
- Maputo, Mozambique
Maputo, which was formerly known as Lourenço Marques, became the nation’s capital in 1898. Since then, it has grown into one of the most distinctive and vibrant cities in southern Africa. Due to its distinct Afro-Mediterranean vibe, eclectic mix of antiquated architectural styles, and abundance of charming markets, downtown Maputo is a lot of fun. This port city is also well-known for its lively nightlife, attractive beaches, and cuisine with a strong Portuguese influence.
- Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi may not be the most picturesque city in Africa, but it is among the best in terms of modern conveniences, a lively nightlife, and domestic and international transportation options. One of the few places in the world where you can see free-ranging wildlife, such as lions, giraffes, and rhinos, beneath the glittering skyscrapers of a tropical CBD is the neighboring Nairobi National Park.
- Essaouira, Morocco
One of the most stunning cities in Africa is this sparkling gem on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. It combines a gorgeous beach resort with an intriguing old medina, the latter of which is enclosed by the massive cliff-top ramparts and fortifications of the 18th-century Skala de la Kasbah.
- Johannesburg, South African city
Johannesburg, like its East African counterpart, Nairobi, isn’t particularly attractive, but it stands out as a significant regional economic and transportation hub. Additionally, it offers one of Africa’s best arts and dining scenes, some outstanding museums, and an abundance of shopping options. Ironically, the Cradle of Humankind, a Unesco World Heritage Site that houses the largest collection of hominid fossils dating back 3.3 million years, is located next to this most contemporary of African cities.
- Axum, Ethiopia
In sub-Saharan Africa, Axum is the oldest continuously inhabited city. It was once in charge of a trade route that ran from the Sudanese Nile through the Red Sea to Yemen, and it dates back to the time of the Queen of Sheba. The Axumite Empire once had its capital here. Ruined palaces, enormous stelae, and other artifacts from these heydays are all over the place in modern-day Axum. Ethiopian Christianity was developed in the fourth century at the Maryam Tsion Church in the capital.
- Marrakesh, Morocco
Marrakesh, one of the best and most well-known cities in Africa, is also known as the Red City because of the color of the old walls that surround its medina. The 13th-century Kutubiyya Mosque and Sidi Bel Abbes Mausoleum are notable architectural landmarks, but the city is also well-known for its souks (markets), hammam spas, and Moroccan cuisine. Consider taking a day trip to a nearby Berber village like Tanaghmeilt or Tamatert for something unique.
- Saint-Louis, Senegal
Island-bound Saint-Louis, the first French settlement in West Africa, was established in 1659 close to the mouth of the Senegal River and served as the nation’s capital until Dakar took over in 1902. The city of Saint Louis is known for its pastel-hued colonial and Creole architecture, which exudes character. The city’s vibrant modern nightlife also reaches its peak during the renowned Saint Louis International Jazz Festival, which was first held in 1993 and draws musicians and artists from all over the world.
- Lamu, Kenya
Lamu, which is located on an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, might be thought of as the more relaxed and understated northern counterpart to Stone Town in Zanzibar. The whitewashed homes that line the cobblestoned alleys of the old town, however, are constructed in a Swahili style that dates back to medieval times, giving it a much older and more traditional appearance than Zanzibar. In addition to providing access to many excellent beaches and snorkeling reefs, Lamu is a great place to unwind.
- Kigali, Rwanda
Don’t miss the Rwandan capital, Kigali, if you enjoy clean cities; it was recognized as a model of contemporary urban conservation when it received the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor in 2008. Kigali, the best air gateway for gorilla-tracking safaris to Volcanoes National Park, is known for its attractive hilly topography and low tolerance for litterbugs. It is also home to a number of interesting museums and memorials.
- Swakopmund, Namibia
There are some beautiful buildings from the German colonial era in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek. However, the retro Bavarian-style seaport of Swakopmund, located about 360 kilometers (224 miles) to the west, beats it in this regard. After you’ve had your fill of Swakopmund’s architectural highlights, use the town as your base to go quad biking, sandboarding, or sea kayaking. With up to 200,000 seals, Cape Cross is home to the largest colony of Cape fur seals in the entire world.
- Luxor, Egypt
Ancient Thebes, dubbed “the greatest city the world has ever known,” is located in Luxor, a city on the Nile more than 600 kilometers downstream of Cairo. The riverfront temples, palaces, tombs, and other imposing Theban remnants dotted in and around Luxor could easily be explored in a week. Particularly considering how enjoyable the modern city is as well, what with its bustling markets and pleasant riverside location.
- Island of Mozambique, Mozambique
Before Maputo was founded, this crescent-shaped island off the northern coast of Mozambique served as the center of Portuguese East Africa for four centuries. Ilha de Moçambique, also known by its Portuguese name, is home to several of the oldest structures in the southern hemisphere, most notably the Fortaleza de So Sebastio from the sixteenth century. The old town center’s architectural cohesion, which has remained largely unchanged since the late 19th century, is no less impressive.
- Harar, Ethiopia
Harar, the fourth-holiest city in the Muslim world after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, is located along an ancient trade route that runs through Ethiopia’s fertile eastern highlands. The oldest walled city in the world, Harar Jugol, is lined with the greatest number of mosques and Islamic shrines, but its labyrinthine lanes also exude a strong and compelling sense of place. This laid-back city is known for its hyena men, who provide food to the spotted hyenas that roam the nearby hills every evening shortly after dusk.
- Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The largest city and former capital of Tanzania is much livelier than its Swahili name, which means “Haven of Peace” in English. But while the distant Msasani Peninsula is home to a fantastic selection of seafront restaurants, the city center can be interesting to explore with its wealth of German, Indian, and Swahili architectural influences. Several fantastic beaches are easily accessible from Dar es Salaam, which is only a short flight or ferry ride from Zanzibar.
- Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Stellenbosch, the second-oldest town in South Africa, was founded inland from Cape Town in 1679, and stately Cape Dutch structures from that time period line its central avenues, which are lined with oak trees. Although it has an old-world feel to its architecture, Stellenbosch is also a thriving university town with a vibrant nightlife. It is encircled by the stunning mountains and valleys of the well-known Cape Winelands.